We received the following news from Planned Parenthood this morning:
Yesterday the House Appropriations Committee announced that the Title X family planning program ($317 million) will be eliminated in the House leadership’s FY11 Continuing Resolution (CR), which will be considered next week by the full House. This bill is necessary to continue funding the government after March 4 (when the current CR expires) through the end of the fiscal year.
Other critical health programs are also targeted for significant reductions – including the maternal and child health block grant program and community health centers.
Women's eNews: Acid attacks against women, a form of gender terrorism are used to disfigure and isolate the victims. A new report from four New York organizations shows that Bangladesh is one country that has taken measures to protect women and prevent attacks.
"Bangladesh was singled out from two neighboring countries for its strong measures to stop acid attacks on women in a Jan. 27 report.
In a study of the crime in Bangladesh, Cambodia and India, researchers found that Bangladesh had taken the most proactive approach to decreasing the attacks by enacting legislation, a no-bail policy for perpetrators and forming a national council to regulate corrosive solutions and enact a policy of treatment and rehabilitation for victims.
Whether the attacks follow a perceived wrongdoing or are simply the response of a spurned suitor, thousands of women in the South Asian region around Bangladesh have had sulphuric acid sprayed or poured onto their faces, eliminating facial features, causing blindness and fusing skin together, forcing them into a life of health problems and social isolation."
LA Times: Scientists are investigating a possible link between breast implants and an increased risk of a rare cancer called anaplastic large-cell lymphoma, or ALCL.
"Though modern breast implants have been around for decades, questions of safety continue to plague augmentation even as the artificially enhanced bosom has become common.
The latest development: On Wednesday, the Food and Drug Administration announced it was investigating a possible link between breast implants and an increased risk of a rare cancer called anaplastic large-cell lymphoma, or ALCL.
As many as 60 women have developed ALCL among the 5 million to 10 million worldwide with implants. That compares to the rate of breast tissue ALCL in the normal U.S. population — about 3 in 100 million. The disease arises in scar tissue that forms around the implant, either silicone or saline, and is treatable."
Ms Magazine: A new report shows that although abortion rates declined in the 1980's, they are now stalled, perhaps indicating difficulty obtaining contraception, or having access to abortion providers or insurance coverage.
"Abortion rates have generally fallen since the 1980s for a variety of reasons including greater access to contraception and the availability of over-the-counter emergency contraception. But in recent years, according to a new study by the Guttmacher Institute, abortion rates have stalled, raising questions about whether pregnant women have access to a full range of reproductive options and choice.
But between 2005 and 2008, the rate ticked up by 1 percent. If this reflects a plateau in abortion rates, it’s unclear what’s driving the trend. Has contraception become too expensive? Harder to access? Has abstinence-only education kept young people from take precautions against unintended pregnancies?
Ensuring access to abortion can be difficult in an atmosphere where the government or insurance companies don’t want to pay for the procedure, federal and state lawmakers are drafting legislation to make abortions ever more difficult for women to obtain, and anti-abortion extremists are cranking up the hateful rhetoric and violence at clinics."
Guardian: Violence against women is on the rise in Mexico, where the militarized campaign against drug cartels has also resulted in a surge in female deaths.
"Since President Calderon began to take on Mexico's crime cartels in 2006, the country's drug war has taken a total of 34,612 lives, nearly half of which were claimed solely in 2010. Unbeknown to many, the deaths resulting from organised crime have also coincided with the murder of over 4,000 women since 2006 from causes unrelated to the nation's drug war.
While violence toward women is not new to Mexico, the estimated number of female deaths suggests a callous disregard by Mexico's government of this growing phenomenon. According to human rights organisations, femicides rose by 130% between 2009 and 2010, resulting in a total of 446 murdered women only last year. This worsening epidemic has led local authorities throughout the country to downplay the mounting violence by misclassifying murders, attributing deaths to drug violence, or simply under-report the figures."
Reuters: A new study posits that while nine in ten cases of sexual assault go unreported in Alaska. The state has the nation's highest rate of sexual assault, where 37 percent of surveyed Alaska women had been victims of sexual violence.
"For every case of rape reported to police in Alaska, the state that consistently posts the nation's highest rate of sexual assault, another nine cases likely go unreported, according to a new study presented on Monday to the state legislature.
The study, conducted by the University of Alaska Anchorage's Justice Center and cooperating researchers, found that 37 percent of surveyed Alaska women had been victims of sexual violence, and 4.3 percent within the last year.
The 871 women surveyed for the study reported "astonishingly high" rates of sexual violence, said Andrew Rosay, director of the university's Justice Center.
"More than one out of every three experienced sexual violence at some point in their lifetime," Rosay told state senators at a committee meeting held on Monday in Juneau."
On January 25, 2011 Women’s eNews sponsored a panel discussion of female electricians, moderated by Francine Moccio, author of Live Wire: Women and Brotherhood in the Electrical Industry. The event was standing room only with guests filling each seat and lining the walls of the Women’s eNews office. Panelists included Melinda Hernandez, Laura Kelber, Cynthia Long, and Susan Eisenberg. The women were all featured in Live Wire and were from Local Union 3.
This just in! Eileen Applebaum from the Center for Economic and Policy Research and Ruth Milkman have released findings from their latest report, Leaves that Pay: Employer and Worker Experiences with Paid Family Leave in California. In addition to new data and analysis on experiences with California's unique Paid Family Leave program, Applebaum and Milkman also offer a handy timeline of leave policymaking at the state and federal level as well as data on access to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). For instance, did you know that FMLA’s coverage is limited to only about half of all workers, and less than a fifth of all new mothers?
In 2008, families in the lowest income bracket needed to sacrafice 55 percent of their annual income to send their child to a four-year public university. In comparison, a family in the top income bracket spent only 9 percent. As wages continue to stagnate and tuition costs rise, college education has become out of reach for many women and low-income families.
Increasing student aid to fill the gap between rising college costs and decreasing median family income is critical to ensuring that higher education is affordable to low-income students.